Eating in restaurants with children is a subject that is near and dear to my heart; obviously because my husband (www.chefmarkpeel.com) is a chef and restaurant owner. This means that my kids and step kids have spent, and will spend, a lot of time in restaurants. I see it as a great Eloise-like upbringing, but I know my stepsons don’t always think so. Often when the cupboards are bare at dinnertime, I have said to Oliver, “We can go to Campanile for dinner or I can heat up this bagel for you.” Nine times out of 10 he would take the bagel. Restaurants aren’t a treat when you’ve been in them your whole life, I guess. My little ones are happy to go with dad to work. In fact, they are a little bent when we don’t take them. “Mommy is meeting a friend for a cocktail” doesn’t seem to work so well. I usually say something like, “It’s going to be so boring. We are going to talk and talk and I won’t let you run up the stairs (as they do when the restaurant is closed).”
If I am taking my kids out for a dinner I would rather give my husband’s place the business. Also, we get a discount (not 100% as my husband says that wouldn’t be right. Of course not! Who said ‘comped’? I didn’t!). Most of the staff knows my kids by name so if I have to go to the bathroom I don’t worry about Vivien sitting by herself as every server and hostess knows her. If I have Rex with me (aka More of a Handful) then I can say, “Can you put me in the back where there are fewer or no diners?”
Which leads me to this vlog: My other strategy for restaurant eating (see here for tips from my life pre-Rex) is to get a corner table. Recently, though, I have found other parents I dine with aren’t in total agreement with this policy. It even greatly upsets some. What do you think?